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Healthy Food Dogs and Kids Can Share
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Always Flavor It Yourself: Don’t buy foods with salt or sugar added. Let your child and dog discover the real taste of food. Experiment with spices like cinnamon, ginger and anise.

 

Tooth or Dare: Fight dental decay and gum disease; don’t buy kid- and dog-targeted commercial foods. Children’s cereals “might as well be cookies,” says Marion Nestle in What to Eat. Give your kid and dog an apple to share. Dog food doesn’t promote dental health, and it often contains sugar (as does canine toothpaste!). In the wild, canids’ teeth stay clean through a diet consisting primarily of meat and bones. (With their wolf-like dentition, dogs are classified taxonomically as carnivores, which does not preclude opportunistically eating vegetation, including digestible vegetables.)

 

Sporting Life: Encourage your kid and dog to play together. Childhood and canine obesity are major health problems. An active lifestyle is as important as a healthful diet with portion control.

 

Here’s the real treat: When your kid and dog enjoy a shared meal, they’re celebrating the human-animal bond all over again. Bone appetit!

 

 

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Leslie Crane Rugg and Eva Saks are currently writing The Dog Ate My Cookbook!, a cookbook of tasty meals that dogs and kids can share. Prior credits include AKC Gazette and Dog & Kennel (Rugg); Sesame Street and Playhouse Disney(Saks).

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